Who Was the First Pope?
There's no short way to answer the question, who was the first pope? It needs to be covered thoroughly. There is ample evidence in the early Christian writings to do so.
This video series, each segment less than 10 min. long, does just that. To prepare, here's a brief outline of early Christianity's answer this question.
- There was no bishop of Rome to be pope until over 50 years after Peter's death!
- At least two Roman bishops in the 2nd century had to be stopped from splitting the church. This was done by bishops with more respect and authority than the Roman bishop.
- No Roman bishop claimed universal authority for himself until the mid-3rd century.
- Cyprian of Carthage, since made a saint by the Roman Catholics, convened a council of 82 bishops to renounce "Pope" Stephen's attempt to claim the title of "Bishop of bishops."
- At the Council of Nicea, in A.D. 325, the bishop of Rome was given authority over an area similar to that of the bishop of Alexandria. The bishop of Alexandria had authority over all of Egypt.